Egret at Fort Mose 02, 2019.
An egret rests atop a length of broken-apart dock in the upper tidal reaches of Fort Mose Historic State Park. Once killed in great numbers so their plumage could adorn hats, egrets still struggle with habitat loss in wetlands degraded by grazing, clearing, burning, altered drainage paths, groundwater extraction and increasing salinity. They have adapted to the rough edges of human habitation and can be common in urban and suburban areas especially throughout the Southeast. Note the coontie spreading along the edge of the water line, the only cycad native to North America and once a starchy staple ground into flour by Florida’s indigenous population. Note, also, the beer can, evidence of another starchy concoction regularly consumed by Florida residents.
Considered a precursor to the Underground Railroad, Fort Mose was the first legally sanctioned free black community in what would become the United States.
This was shot on film with a Calumet 4×5 monorail camera using Ilford FP4 Plus 125 and scanned with an Epson Perfection v850 Pro. Exposure time was 1/2 second at f/45. Ilex-Calumet 215mm Lens. Shot at Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine, Florida on November 15, 2019.